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The Montreal Band TOPS comes to Bloomington



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Faith Healer plays its set, opening for TOPS at the Bishop Bar's 18+ lounge. Both bands played at the Bishop on Thursday night. Sam Oates Buy Photos

Although they hail from Montreal, Canada, the four members of band TOPS are traveling to Bloomington for their Indiana debut. The band will be performing at The Bishop Sept. 21 at 8:30p.m. 

“We started the band in Montreal with the intention of starting a classic 'band,'” Penny said. “Which was a somewhat rare concept in the scene that we were in at the time.”

Amid a sea of indie-tronica in the music scene in Montreal at the time, TOPS stood out with their notions of rock, pop and warm vintage sound in 2011. TOPS is signed under the same record label as Grimes and Braids.

The band consists of four members: Jane Penny, David Carriere, Riley Fleck, and Jackson MacIntosh.

Penny said the bandchose to play the soft rock genre of music because it just came naturally.

“We're all fans of soft rock and sophisti-pop,” Penny said. “But everyone was also really amenable to my singing voice, and I think we all pursued a sound that's unique pretty intuitively.”

Pitchfork’s review of their most recent album, “Sugar at the Gate”, said they released it on June 2 of 2017. Penny said the songs she and Carriere write are inspired by the band’s life, thoughts and experiences.

“The song "Cutlass Cruiser" is a meditation on the life experiences of myself and a few other creative women in my life, struggling to express ourselves and dealing with the impression that we're sketchy or unhinged somehow for pursuing our dreams,” Penny said. “That, and I saw a few cutlass cruisers, which are old kind of crappy cars that have a lot character.”

The band’s manager, Naavin Karimbux, said their new album contains multiple meanings that overlap with the album’s title.

“They lived and recorded the project at ‘Glamdale’, a mini-mansion and former brothel located in CA,” Karimbux said. “Like nearly everything else TOPS does, multiple meanings overlap with the album’s title referring to orgasm, but also to carrot chasing, gatekeeping and the social contract.”

Karimbux said their latest album came out at the beginning of the summer and is their strongest effort to date. This is the band’s first time performing in Bloomington and the band said if you come to its shows, they are always down to chat.

“We try to post stuff on instagram and stuff, we aren't that good at it though,” Penny said. “We’re gonna burn the house down!”

 

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